Report: Gore Verbinski's Matter was 'similar to Journey' and inspired by The Shining

In 2011, filmmaker Gore Verbinski announced a Kinect exclusive game. What was it about and what happened to it?


In 2011, Microsoft had announced a surprising deal with filmmaker Gore Verbinski, best known for his work on The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. His Blind Wink Games studio announced an odd Kinect title named Matter, which was quietly canceled after making a mysterious E3 debut.

The game would have had you playing as a sphere nicknamed "Adam." Players would explore "Cube City" and solve environmental puzzles and gain power-ups that would let Adam fly, weigh more, and attack enemies.

A source described the game as "very similar to Journey" as "it was a hero's quest told without narration" and "a simple story told in very abstract way." However, the game was designed years before Journey's release, making such similarities purely coincidental.

The game was meant to have "a horror vibe," the source told Kotaku. And in order to achieve that sense of dread, the game would have ultimately "played a lot of psychological tricks on the player," with The Shining influencing techniques employed by the game.

According to the source, Matter fell apart once Verbinski left the team to focus on The Lone Ranger, which recently released in theaters to disappointing reviews. Under a new development director, the team was unable to meet budget and development milestones, leading Microsoft to ultimately can the title.

Here's what it might have look like:

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